Short-Nosed Unicornfish

The Short-Nosed Unicornfish (Naso brevirostris) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Acanthuridae family of surgeonfish and tangs.

The Short-Nosed Unicornfish has a bluish-grey or brown oval-shaped body with a small mouth. It has one short, prominent horn, called a rostral protruberance, at the front of its head. It has many small dark spots on its head. Its tail is whitish with dark blotches. It has six dorsal (back) spines. 

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Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?

Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn? 

The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an African ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Giraffidae family, related to the giraffe. It has chocolate to reddish-brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears.

The male has two short ossicones (bony structures) on its forehead, covered in hair. They are not horns. 

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Rhinoceros Ratsnake

The Rhinoceros Ratsnake (Gonyosoma boulengeri) is a non-venomous colubrid reptile in the Colubridae family. It is also known as the Vietnamese Longnose Snake.

The Rhinoceros Ratsnake is green with a prominent, distinctive protrusion of the front of its nose. The pointy protrusion—which looks like a rhinoceros horn—has scales like the rest of its body. It has 19 rows of dorsal (back) scales to its mid-body.

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Eurasian Eagle-Owl

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is a large, nocturnal bird of prey and a raptor. It is also known as the European Eagle-Owl. 

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is heavily built with a large head, a grey facial disc, and tufted ears. It has tawny-brown feathers mottled with darker blackish feathers. It has freckling on the forehead and crown, and stripes on the nape, sides and back of the neck. Its wings and tail are barred. It has tufted feathers on its ears are called plumicorns. It has large orange eyes. It has feathered feet with sharp talons (claws). Its beak is dark-coloured. 

It can rotate its head, which gives it an arc of vision of 270 degrees. A human has an arc of vision of 120 degrees. 

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Northern Great Horned Owl

The Northern Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus subarcticus) is a nocturnal bird of prey and a raptor. It is also known as the Tiger Owl, the Hoot Owl, or the Subarctic Great Horned Owl. It is closely related to the Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo). It is not horned – the ‘horns’ are really tufts of feathers, called plumicorns. 

The Northern Great Horned Owl is well camouflaged at night with mottled brown-grey and white feathers. Some have more white feathers than grey feathers. It does not have the reddish colour of other sub-species of Great Horned Owls. It is heavily built with a large head, a grey facial disc, and tufted ears. It has large yellow eyes. It has feathered feet with sharp talons (claws). Its beak is dark-coloured. 

It can rotate its head, which gives it an arc of vision of 270 degrees. A human has an arc of vision of 120 degrees. 

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Rhinoceros look-alikes: the similarities

The African Rhinoceros is a distinctive animal due to its thick, armoured skin and large curved horn. Rhinoceros means ‘nose with a horn.’

The critically endangered Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is also called the Hook-Lipped Rhinoceros. The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are the Southern White Rhinoceros.

Some animals are described as ‘rhinoceros’ in their scientific or common name because they have a horn that looks like a rhinoceros horn.

The Rhino Catfish (Pterygoplichthys scrophus) from South America is a fish with a ridged, armoured body and two horn-like protrusions from its head that looks like the horns of a rhinoceros. The protrusions are actualy nostril flaps so that water doesn’t get up its nose. Its body is completely covered in small plates that look like armour.

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Asian Swamp Water Buffalo

The Asian Swamp Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a large bovid mammal. It is not aggressive and has become domesticated.

The Asian Swamp Water Buffalo has blue-grey skin. It is a stocky animal with a short body and large belly. Its forehead is flat, its eyes are prominent, and its face is short. It has a wide nose. Its horns grow outward and curve in a semi-circle. Its tail is short.

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Arabian Oryx

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is an endangered medium-sized ungulate (hoofed) bovine antelope mammal in the Bovidae family. It is also known as the White Oryx.

The Arabian Oryx is whitish-cream with a shoulder bump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. Its underbelly and legs are brown. It has black stripes where its head meets its neck, on its forehead, on its nose, and from the horns across its eyes to its mouth. Both males and females have ringed horns.

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Brahman Cattle

Brahman Cattle (Bos indicus) are a medium-sized breed of Zebu cattle. They are ungulate (hoofed) bovine mammals. For domestic use, they are livestock for dairy products, such as milk, cream, cheese and butter. They are also called Humped Cattle.

The Brahman is a distinctive-looking cattle breed with large upward-curved horns. It has a large hump over its shoulder and neck, very large ears, and loose skin (called dewlap) around its throat and underbelly. It is varied in colour, from light grey to sandy-coloured or creamy-white. Its short fur is thicker in winter.

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Blue Sheep

The Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur) is a medium-sized ungulate (hoofed) mammal. It is also called the Bharal or the Himalayan Blue Sheep. It is a caprid.

The Blue Sheep has blue-grey fur. Its underparts and the backs of its legs are white. Its chest and the front of its legs are black. Separating the grey back and white belly is a charcoal-coloured stripe. It has small ears. It has a short tail. Both males and females have horns. The male has horns that grow upwards, then turn sideways and curve backwards – like an upside-down moustache. The female has shorter and straighter horns.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Bukharan Markhor

The Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) is a large species of wild goat. It is also known as the Tadjik Markhor, the Turkmenian Markhor, or the Screw Horn Goat. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Bukharan Markhor has shaggy light-brown to black fur. Its coat is smooth and short in summer and thicker and longer in winter. Its lower legs have black and white fur. The male has a beard with longer hair on its chin, throat, chest and legs than the female. The female is redder in colour with shorter hair, and a short black beard, without a mane.

Both the male and the female have curled, corkscrew horns in a V-shape, but the male horns are much larger.

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West African Gaboon Viper

The West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros) is a venomous snake and a reptile. It is also called the Butterfly Adder, the Forest Puff Adder, and the Swampjack.

The West African Gaboon Viper has a large triangular-shaped cream-coloured head, with a dark blue-black triangle behind and below its eyes. It is pale-brown, with dark, yellow-edged patterns along its body. Its belly is pale. It has a pair of horn-like structures between its nostrils. Its eyes are large, moveable, and yellow-white.

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Southern Cassowary

The Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is a large flightless bird. It is also called the Double-Wattled Cassowary or the Australian Cassowary. It is a ratite, related to the emu, ostrich, kiwi, and the rhea. There is also a Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus).

The Southern Cassowary has stiff, bristly black feathers, a blue face and neck, red on the cape and two red wattles hanging down around its throat. It has a horn-like brown casque on the top of its head. Its feet have three toes with one long claw on each foot.

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Antelope Horns

Antelope horns are hard and hollow, growing from their skull, at the front of their head. They are made of keratin, which is the same material as human fingernails.

Antelope horns are not shed – they are permanent.

Different antelope species have horns of different sizes and shapes. The 91 species of antelopes (mostly from Africa) include the blackbuck, dik-dik, duiker, eland, gazelle, gerenuk, hartebeest, impala, kudu, oryx, reedbuck, steenbok, and wildebeest.

The following is an example of the different types of antelope horns:

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